Spring AS XXXV (2001)
Volume VI, Issue 3 (#22)
From the Nachalnik
The last time that I missed Pennsic was Pennsic XX. Thus, it
seems rather poetic that I'll miss Pennsic XXX this year. It's
the usual tired story of the new job and not being able to get the
time off to go. But what it means is that if there is going to be
any sort of SIG gathering this year at Pennsic, someone else is
going to have to organize it. Most years, we have done a party
(the "Festival") and a meeting (the "Class"). Last year, we tried
just doing the party. What happens this year depends on you
folks. Contact me if you would like to organize anything this
year. I would be happy to coordinate the planning but will not
be able to attend.
It is becoming part of a pattern, but (again) we are awfully short
on material for Slovo this time. I am always looking for new
articles, book reviews, and so on to include here. And while I
realize that it does not offer the same immediate gratification of
posting to a listserv, Slovo is much more visible to the general
public. In short, submit!
Financial contributions also keep this whole thing happening
and I want to thank Peotr for his financial help this quarter (as
well as thanking him for the lovely articles and artwork).
Some Thoughts on "Slavic" Folklore
By David Russell Watson
[Editor's Note: David can be reached at: David R. Watson,
P.O. Box 6318, Pahrump, NV 89041, WtsDv@aol.com]
I would like to draw your attention to some errors in Ryan
Myers's article "Slavic Folklore" which appeared in the Winter
1999 issue of Slovo. The article describes a heroic ballad called
"Iry Dada." To my knowledge the first appearance in print of
"Iry Dada" was a version in the Ossetic language with an
English translation by the Russian historian George Vernadsky.
This version can be found in the Journal of American Folklore
69: 273 (July-September 1956).
In comparing Vernadsky's supposedly original version (more on
that below) with Myers's description of it, two major
descrepancies are immediately apparent. First is the ethnicity
of the tale (Myers claims that it is "Slavic" but Vernadsky
presents it as a historical epic of the Ossetian people -- who are
not Slavs). Second is the complete reversal of the role of the
character of Iry Dada. In Myers's recounting, Iry Dada is
described as "a young Slav" and fights on behalf of the Kievans,
but in Vernadsky's account Iry Dada is the champion of the
Ossetians. Since Iry Dada is the title character this is a
significant difference. There are a number of other minor
differences and omissions in Myers's version as well.
There is an additional problem. Vernadsky's article was
reviewed and criticized by Professor W. B. Henning in the
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies XXI
(1958): 315-18, and by V. I. Abaev in Izvestija Akademii Nauk
SSSR, Otdelenie literatury yazyka XVII (1958): 1: 72-74. In
these critiques both scholars claim that "Iry Dada" was probably
a forgery written by an Ossetian colleague of Vernadsky's to
bolster some of his theories on Slavic and Ossetian history.
It would be wonderful to determine once and for all if it actually
has roots in Slavic or Ossetic folklore, or if it is purely an
historical forgery. However, as it stands, it would seem that the
"Tale of Iry Dada" is definitely not Slavic and possibly not even
a real folktale.
Economical Period Russian Body Armor
Part Two: The Bozolban
By Mordak Timofei'vich Rostovskogo
My next worry in creating economical Russian armour was
protecting my forearms while maintaining a Russian look to my
armour. After some quick research on the internet of the
Armoury Collection in the Hermitage Museum, I realized that
bozolbans were shallow, elongated bullet shaped armguards.
They extend from wrist to just past the point of the elbow and
have another rounded plate covering the inside of the arm from
wrist to 1" short of the inside bend of the elbow.
The tools needed are a Whitney punch to make evenly spaced
holes along the length of each plate, a metal rod 5/16" in
diameter and 24-36" long, a drill, a wire cutter or Dremel tool,
a pair of medium needle-nosed pliers, a file, and some kind of
saw to cut the metal. The materials needed are a piece of
leather, stell or tempered or 14 gauge aluminum 1" wider than
the measurement from your wrist to the point of your elbow and
24" long, a 12" by 12" piece of closed cell foam, such as a
thermal pad for a sleeping bag.
In the museum pieces, this inside piece actually had three strips
running along the arm from wrist to the point before the elbow
and connected together by chainmail links along their lengths.
A Whitney punch is ideal for creating holes along the edge of
these pieces for chainmail links. While this is certainly possible
and violates no Society armour rules, I prefer one solid plate on
the inner arm to three for the sake of rigidity and safety. Three
will work with strips of closed cell foam adhered along their
lengths on the inside edge but I prefer peace of mind. The
problem was in how to cover the joints of the elbow to pass
Not relishing the idea of arm casts, bone bruises or nasty armour
bites, I ruthlessly stole an idea from a Turkish persona heavy
fighter in Kentucky named Ustad Hasan. He wears a rounded
elbow cup without a side wing under his bozolban and merely
pads the inside of the large plate at the wrist. Although he
insists that no padding has ever been needed on the rest of that
plate over the last four years, you could pad it if you wish using
strips of closed cell foam adhered to the inside surface. Another
idea of Ustad's that I used was heavy aluminum, like that used
in street signs. Though I would never advocate their use, they do
make excellent armour, I am told. Ustad's lasted four years in
weekly fighter practices, weekly melees and weekend
tournaments, as well as Gulf Wars and Pennsic every year. Best
of all, they are easy and cheap to makeutilizing common
workshop tools on a single Sunday.
By Peotr Alexeivich Novgorodski
[Editor's note: Lord Peotr missed Pennsic last year, but he had
a fabulous reason to do so. Instead of Pennsic, he went to
Central Asia. This article is part of a continuing series of pieces
about his travels.]
The best city on the desert caravan routes is the walled citadel
of Bukhara. It is even hotter here than Samarkand. However,
the Musselmen who inhabit this place are very clever. They
build canals and ponds to cool the city and even plant trees. The
buildings are low because, they say, the earth is uncertain here
and shakes at times. Outside all is white washed and blinding
at midday, though pleasant enough before dawn and after
They have no wood, but build of mudbrick, white washed. All
the important buildings are stone or brick -- the Citadel, Tower,
caravansarai and markets. Storks, which feed on frogs and
fishes in the canals and pools, build nests in the trees and on the
buildings. They are deemed a sign of good luck.
The markets are the jewels of Bukhara. The ruler rebuilt three
new markets with stone vaulting, named for the moneychangers,
jewelers and hat makers. There are also a large spice and slave
markets here. The people of the city are very diverse -- mainly
Musselmen, but also Nestorian Christians, idol worshippers
from far India, fire worshippers and Jews. Caravans rest and
recover here on their long journeys. There are secure rooms and
compounds to store goods and protect horses and camels of
travelers. It is the quality and security of these caravansarai to
which Bukhara owes its wealth and fame. The evenings are very
fine when breezes arise from the waters.
Then there is music and dance, roast lamb and mutton, large
round breads, yogurt and large pots of "plov" (a feast meal of
the grain rice and vegetables). They have a wonderful and
monstrous fruit, being up to the size of a two-year old child,
called melon, with delicate flesh. Sadly, they have nothing
whatsoever in the way of meads or beers.
Bukhara is home to many saints of the Musselman religion. It
is a center for their priests and has many open courtyard
monasteries, which they call "medressas." Here there are great
number of scholars, calligraphers and bookbinders. Indeed their
drawings are most wonderful, though the script is completely
illegible. They have a material we do not have for their
manuscripts and scrolls said not to be vellum, but I could not
understand what this material was nor how it was made. They
have many wise men who watch the stars and are said to foretell
events by this method. The city is such a center of learning
throughout the land it is said, "Elsewhere light radiates from
heaven unto earth, in holy Bukhara it radiates upwards to
It is something of a miracle that the city survives at all. Ghengis
Khan himself besieged and stormed this place not more than
two generations ago. It is said of the battle, "The forces of
Ghengis Khan proceeded to encamp before the citadel and his
troops were more numerous than ants or locusts, being a
multitude beyond estimation or computation. Detachment after
detachment arrived each like a billowing sea, and encamped
round the town. At sunrise an army of 20,000 defenders issued
form the citadel. The Mongol army fell upon them and left no
trace of them. Wise men say that when it is impossible to flee
from destruction in any manner, then patience is the best and
wisest course. On the morning of the following day when from
the reflection of the sun the plain seemed to be a tray filled with
blood, the people of Bukhara opened the gates and closed the
door to strife and battle. Ghengis Khan then entered the city
and stabled his horses in the mosque."
That he spared much of the citadel and especially the tower is
another tale worth telling. Kalon Minaret, the name meaning
"Great Tower," is one of the wonders of the world. It is, without
doubt the tallest building in the world east of Saint Sophia's in
Constantinople. One can climb the long dark spiral stair to its
summit and from there look out and see caravans approaching,
even more than a day's journey distant. After the Mongol Horde
took the city Ghengis Khan rode in to inspect it. Being close to
the tower, he looked up craning to see its apex. Thus looking his
hat fell off. He had to dismount and bent to retrieve his hat.
Then he said, "As this tower has done what no man could, in
making me bow before it, I will spare it." And he did.
History of Hungary
By Zofia Borek
8 BC Tiberius organizes area west of the Danube into a
province called Pannonia. One military camp, Aquincum, lies
in present-day Budapest.
434 AD Carpathian basin is an outpost of the Hun Empire.
456 AD Aryan Christianity taught in Pannonia.
791-796 Charlemagne destroys the Avars who rule Carpathian
895 Pechinegs chase Hungarian tribes (led by Kurszan) out
from around the Black Sea to the Carpathian basin.
898 Magyar raids begin into central and Western Europe.
902 Prince of Bavaria murders Kurszan at a banquet. Bavaria
repeatedly raided until 907. Arpad leads Hungarian tribes, and
makes position hereditary.
933 Henry I, the Fowler, of Germany defeats Hungarian raids.
The Hungarians turn elsewhere.
937 Troops lead through Saxony and the Lorraine passing the
Rhone valley and French and Italian Riveria.
942 Troops pass through Lombardy, the St. Bernard Pass and
attack Moorish Andalusia and raid Rome on their return home.
The prayer heard commonly was, "Our Lord save us from the
arrows of the Hungarians."
955 Hungarian raiders suffer a crushing defeat by Otto I. The
raiding stops. Taksony, Arpad's grandson, becomes chief
961 Taksony requests the pope to send a missionary bishop. He
introduces an economic system based on the Carolingian
system, and transformed court-run production and storage sites
into permanent settlements. This helped to create a single
Hungarian ethnic unit and weakened the tribal consciousness.
973 Geza (972-99), Taksony's son, requests a missionary
bishop from the Holy Roman Empire to break the power of the
998-1038 Istvan I. Istvan builds one church for every ten
villages, divides the country into different counties with ispans
(deputies) to collect taxes, administer laws, etc.
1000 Istvan, Geza's son, defeats Koppany (his uncle) for the
throne and receives a crown from Pope Sylvester II.
1003 Istvan incorporates Translyvania into Hungarian territory.
All Hungarians were converted to Christianity, but no attempts
were made to convert the Muslim or Jewish merchants.
1008 Istvan opens a pilgrimage route leading to Jerusalem
Istvan hosts Edward and Edmund Ironside of England. Many
Hungarians follow them back and found Scottish noble families.
1038 Istvan dies. Peter, his nephew, becomes King with the
aid of Emperor Henry III.
1038-1041 Peter I, ruled with German support.
1041 Peter deposed and replaced by Samuel I
1044 Samuel assassinated.
1044-1046 Peter returns, and is assassinated in 1047.
1047-1060 Andras I, also assassinated.
1060-1063 Bela I
1063-1074 Salamon I, deposed and killed in battle.
1074-1077 Geza II
1077-1095 Laszlo I. Enacted code of laws punishing crimes
against property and life, codified protection of women and
defined responsibilities of high dignitaries. Daughter becomes
Empress Irene of Byzantium.
1095-1116 Kalaman I, the book lover. Institutes laws of trial
- the testimony of witnesses is the basis of all evidence, restricts
ordeals by fire and water, differentiates between crimes of
property and those of life, and banned witch trials.
1116-1131 Istvan II
1131-1141 Bela II
1141-1162 Geza II
1162-1163 Laszlo II
1163-1172 Istvan III
1163-1165 Istvan IV. Manuel I, Emperor of Byzantine, fosters
Bela III (heir presumptive to Hungary in the hopes that he will
gain Hungary as a vassal state.
1172-1196 Bela III, as king in his own right, not as a vassal.
Organized the Royal Chancellery, deeds and documents were
now required for inheritance, indirectly spread literacy.
1196-1205 Imre I
1204-1205 Laszlo III
1205-1228 Andrew II. Andrew completely mismanages and
bungles the Hungarian people and the entire economy.
1222 Golden Bull issued. It reforms the conditions on the
country; it set limits on royal rights and prerogatives, and gave
women rights in inheritance (but no property or titles).
1228-1270 Bela IV
1232 Christian clergy obtain banishment of Muslim and Jewish
1228-1242 Mongol raids. 50-80% of Hungarian settlements
destroyed and population exterminated. Massive reforms took
place in land, military, and society. Stone forts built, military
modernized, and the urban class was born.
1270-1272 Istvan V. During Istvan's reign, the nobles began
to openly fight each other. Royal power was equal to the
strongest baronial faction.
1272-1290 Laszlo IV, assassinated. The Holy See declared
Hungary a vacant papal fief and gave the kingdom to Charles
Robert of Anjou (descendant of Arpads through the female line).
The Hungarian barons in open revolt of Holy See's action.
1278 Hungarian troops helped Rudolph gain victory in
Hungary with a young Ladislas IV and the emperorship
establishing the Habsburg dynasty.
1290-1301 Andras III elected king by the barons. Internal
disorder broke the country up into independent districts ruled by
groups of barons.
1301 Hungary dissolves into semi-autonomous provinces but
still retained a solid institutional framework that country
remained unified politically.
1301-1304 Venecesles III (a.k.a. Vaclav of Bohemia
1278-1305, and Waclaw of Poland 1300), descendant of Bela IV
and fiancee of Andrew III's daughter. Venecesles III considered
the situation in Hungary hopeless and left.
1304-1308 Otto I, the grandson of Bela IV, he was captured by
Laszlo Kan of Tranyslvania. Otto escaped to Bavaria in 1306.
1308-1310 Chaos and confusion. No king or one strong leader.
1310-1342 Charles Robert of Anjou. Charles Robert entered
Hungary in 1301 and his followers crowned him king, but the
barons questioned the legality of the kingship as the holy crown
was not used. Slowly, little by little, Charles Robert won over
the barons to his side.
1310 Charles Robert crowned with holy crown. Charles Robert
ended the anarchy that prevailed for decades and liquidated the
power structure of the oligarchy that was becoming
1320 Charles married Casimir III's of Poland sister.
1323 Hungary was unified. Charles organized the
Czech-Polish-Hungarian political agreement, that the three
countries will come to the defense of the others and ended the
constant battles between them.
1342-1382 Louis of Anjou, King of Poland 1370-1382. Louis's
brother Andrew married to Johanna of Naples and to be King of
1343 Andrew denied crown and made prince consort. Mom,
Elisabeth, freely lavished gold and silver for bribes and
propaganda for Andrew.
1345 Louis gains papal support and Andrew was assassinated
in Naples. Louis marched to Naples 2 years later and conquered
all of southern Italy. As soon as he withdrew, Naples revolted.
1350 Louis conquers Naples again, and again when he leaves,
1351 Code of Louis -- confirmed the Golden Bull and specified
that all "true" nobles living in the country were entitled to the
same freedoms. "True" nobles owned land as freeholders, and
nobles on Church granted land were not considered "true."
1351 Law of Entail -- codifies military obligations of nobility,
establishes that estates cannot be divided or given away.
1385 Charles of Durazzo, King of Naples, enters Hungary and
crowned King of Hungary by the nobility, and was assassinated
35 days later. Mary and Elisabeth were taken captive.
1385 Sigismund, Mary's betrothed, elected king and was able
to release his wife in 1395.
1389 First skirmishes with the Ottomans.
1395 Sigismund calls upon the chivalry of Europe to fight the
1396 Crusaders defeated at Nicopolis, International army large
but undisciplined and lacked a central command.
1400 Hungary loses approximately one third of its population
to the Black Plague.
1401 Sigismund taken captive by his own party and a baronial
council ruled Hungary. This gave progress to the idea of the
state being distinct from the ruler. Sigismund engineered his
release by marrying Barbra Cillei, the daughter of the leading
1408 Sigismund founds the Order of the Dragon with his
faithful barons. It was based on the new aristocracy, the great
1411-1437 Personal union of Hungary and Holy Roman
1436-1437 Papal inquisitor, Minorite Giacomo di Marcia,
found thousands of heretics to burn in Hungary.
1437-1438 Uprising of Hungarian and Vlach tenets, settlers,
urban poor, and petty freemen of Tranyslvania over the ability
to pay tithe in coin and restriction of movement of the peasants.
1433 Hungary loses Dalmacia to Venice.
1437 Sigismund dies with only a daughter, Elizabeth, who is
married to Albert of Habsburg.
1438 Albert "elected" king and duly crowned.
1439 Ottomans take Serbia, Albert dies of dysentery on the
field. Elizabeth gives birth to Ladislas a few months later, and
has her infant crowned. The Hungarian nobles elect Wladyslaw
II of Poland king and crown him, civil unrest follows.
1440-1444 Wladyslaw II of Poland elected King. Ladislas sent
to Austria to be fostered by Habsburgs.
1443-1444 Wladyslaw II and Janos Hunyadi lead the
Hungarian troops to victory and recover some of the Serbian
territory. Peace of Szeged.
1444 Wladyslaw II, going on the advice from the papacy that
"No promise to an infidel need be kept," crossed the Bulgarian
border. Turkish army swiftly marched and defeated Hungarian-
Polish army at Varna, taking Wladyslaw's life.
1445 Hungarian Diet requests to Frederick III for the return of
Ladislas and the territories occupied by the Habsburgs. They
elect a council of Regency, which includes members of both
Hunyadi and Habsburg families.
1446 No Ladislas, Diet elects Hunyadi governor. He was given
some royal rights, but was restricted in power.
1450 Hunyadi enters into league with the Habsburg party and
with Frederick III, which acknowledged Hunyadis governorship.
•1453 Ladislas returned to Hungary and the royal government
is restored. Hunyadi warns his sons to be cautious around
Ladislas, as he might fear their popularity with the people.
1444-1457 Laszlo V (a.k.a. Ladislaus of Bohemia 1440-1457)
1455 Serbia again under Ottoman control. Ottomans besiege
Belgrade. Peasants and townsfolk march to assist the
Hungarian troops. The Ottomans broke off the siege and left
1457 Ladislas has Laszlo Hunyadi, Janos's eldest son, tried and
executed, Ladislas dies a few months later.
1458-1490 Matyas Corvinus, Janos's youngest son, elected
1463 Emperor Frederick III adopts Matthias as his son and
receives the right to inherit the throne of Hungary should
Matthias die without a son (Matthias 23, Frederick III 43)
1471 Matthias's closest supporters fear his growing power and
offer the crown of Hungary to Kasmir of Poland. Matthias
stifles the revolt with both diplomacy and force.
1477 Matthias turns against Austria.
1485 Matthias captures Vienna
1487 All of lower Austria in Hungary's hands.
1490-1516 Ulaszlo II (a.k.a. Wladislav II of Bohemia
1471-1516). The power of Hungary fell into the hands of the
magnates. The Ottomans gain power and made frequent raids
1505 Wladyslaw's son, Louis, betrothed to Mary,
granddaughter of Maximillian, and Ferdinand of Habsburg to
Anna of Hungary.
1514 Archbishop Bakocz returns from Rome with a bull calling
for a new crusade. Thousands of peasants join the crusade. The
archbishop calls off the crusade when it begins to inflame the
serfs. The peasants rebel. The peasant army is squashed and
the Diet enacts laws that put the peasants into "eternal
servitude" depriving them of arms and forcing them to pay
1516-1526 Lajos II (a.k.a. Ludvik of Bohemia 1516-1526),
killed in battle
1520 Hungary refuses to renew the truce with the Ottoman
Empire after the death of Sultan Selim I.
1521 Ottomans take Belgrade, Sabac, and Zimony.
1526 The Battle of Mohacs. The Hungarian army was
annihilated within two hours. The Ottomans march into capital
virtually unopposed. The Hungarian nobles elect two kings
simultaneously with the death of Louis II at Mohacs, Janos
Zapolyia of Tranyslvania and Ferdinand I of Bohemia. Janos
Zapolyia held the advantage in Hungary and the Habsburgs
were fighting two separate wars. Once Austria conquered
Rome; they were able to take Hungary.
1527-1563 Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia 1562
1529 The Ottoman army occupied Buda for a second time and
attempt to take Vienna.
1529-1534 Aloise Gritti, a Venetian banker who was a favorite
of the Sultan and the Grand Viser, is appointed treasurer,
commander in chief, and regent over Hungary.
1536 Ottomans move into eastern regions of Slavonia.
Hungary becomes the battleground of two empires.
1538 Treaty of Varad - Ferdinand was to inherit Zapolyai's
lands but was obligated to defend the country with imperial
1539 Zapolyia marries Isabella, daughter of Sigismund I of
1540 Isabella gives birth to a son, Zapolyia dies, the Bishop of
Varad refuses to hand the country over to Ferdinand and has the
infant elected King Janos II.
1540 and 1541 Ferdinand attempts to take Buda.
1541 Ottoman troops occupy Buda "to protect the infant King."
The sultan assigns Isabella and Janos II the Principality of
1543 Ottomans conquer Valpo, Siklos, Szekesfehervar, and
Esztergam, providing them with a secure military routes for the
1545 Ottomans conquer strongholds to provide a strong grip on
1547 Emperor Charles V concluded a five year armistice with
Sultan Suleyman. The armistice lasted four years.
1550 Hungarians began to take some territory back, which
forced peasants into a situation of double taxation, Royal
Hungary and Ottoman Empire.
1552 The Ottoman held zone ran through the center of
1563-1572 Maximillian, King of Bohemia 1526-1576
1566 Suleyman orders Janos II to attack northern Hungary
while his own army attacks on a separate front.
1568 Second Peace of Edirne ended the war. This second
peace accord merely reconfirmed the First Peace of Edirne in
1547. However, this peace treaty did not prevent local garrisons
to wage skirmishes and gain territory.
1591-1592 Pasha of Bosnia attacks Croatia.
1593 Pasha Sinan takes Gyor, considered the key to Vienna.
1595 The Habsburg government organizes the Christian
League against the Ottomans. The Translyvania legislature
joins the league forcing the Ottomans to fight on two fronts.
1598 Hungarian forces retake Gyor.
1600 Internal dissension in both empires stalls any effective
discussions or battles.
Davies, Norman. Europe: A History. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1996
Laszlo, Gyula. "The Magyars of Conquest-Period Hungary."
The Hungarian Quarterly 37: 141 (Spring 1995)
Lazar, Istvan. "Hungary: A Brief History."
Macartney, C.A. "A Short History of Hungary."
Palffy, Stephen. "A Brief History of Hungary."
Sugar, Peter. A History of Hungary. Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1990
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